– The purpose of this paper is to discuss the possible explanations for deficits in social understanding evident in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A potential intervention technique is proposed that has not yet been examined in this population: viewing and drawing portraits. This portraiture-based intervention seeks to address some of the core issues set forth in each of the theories explaining impaired social functioning. Furthermore, this intervention is intended to specifically increase exposure to facial stimuli in a safe and controlled environment. Instructions about how to look closely at a social partner’s face and how to glean salient emotional information from the facial expression displayed can be developed through a focused exploration of drawing and viewing portraits. Current techniques such as eye tracking and fMRI are discussed in the context of this proposed intervention.
– This paper reviews existing research about ASD and seeks to present a new proposal for an intervention using portraiture. First the paper discusses existing interventions and reviews the current research about potential causes/areas of deficiency in individuals on the spectrum. This paper subsequently proposes a new type of intervention and discusses the reasons underpinning its potential success in the context of existing research.
– This was a proposed study so no empirical findings have been reported. However, observations of individuals on the spectrum engaging with artwork are discussed in this paper.